(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "An address before the Sons of Temperance"

ADDRESS 



BEFORE 



THE SOIS OF TEMPERANCE: 






PRONOUNCED IN LOUISVILLE, 



lull) % 1S£G. 



BY REV. JOHN II. HEYWOOD 




LOUISVILLE : 

DRAPIER & NOBLE— FOURTH STREET PRINTING LOOMS. 
1846. 






AN 



ADDRESS 



BEFORE 



THE SONS OF TEMPERANCE: 



PRONOUNCED IN LOUISVILLE, 



3ub) 4, \$m. 



BY REV. JOHN H. HEYWOOD. 



LOUISVILLE : 

DRAPIKR & NOBLE-FOURTH STREET PRINTING ROOMS, 

1846. 



I 



Louisville, July 6, 184ti. 
Respected Brother : 

At a meeting of the Sons of Temperance, held at the Hall after the return of the 
several Divisions fron the Procession on the 4th inst.,.the following resolution was 
unanimously adopted : 

" Resolved, That a Committee, consisting of the W. P.'s of the several Divisions 
of this city, be appointed, to communicate to Brother Heywood the thanks of this 
meeting for the forcible and beautiful Address to which we have just listened, and 
to request from him a copy for publication." 

In performing this duty, the committee are compelled, in justice to themselves, 
to express their feelings of gratefulness for the dignified and noble eloquence with 
which you advanced the claims of the Order to the respect and interest of the 
community. 

That you may long be preserved, to promote, by your sound precept and pure 
example, the cause of "Temperance, Benevolence, and Brotherly Love," is the 
sincere wish of your Brothers in Love, Purity and Fidelity, 

F. W. PRESCOTT, W. P. Division No. 9. 
J. S, LOCKE, W. P. Division No. 5. 
A. E. DRAPIER, W. P. Division No. 10. 
A. G. MUNN, W. P. Division No. G. 
A. W. VALLANDINGHAM, W, P. Division No. 7. 
J. S. SPEED, W. P. Division No. 8. 
Rev. J. H. Heywood. 



Louisville, July 7, 1846. 
Respected Brothers: 

With many thanks for the ktnd manner in which you have spoken of my 
Address, and in the hope that it may prove useful, I comply with your request, 
and herewith transmit a copy for publication. 

Your Brother in Love, Purity and Fidelity, 

JOHN H. HEYWOOD. 
F. W. Prescott, W* P. DLy,. No. 9. 



ADDRESS. 






Brothers and Fellow Citizens : 

The day, whose anniversary we celebrate, was a sacred 
day. It was one of the great, the marked days of the 
world; marked, because it was devoted to the establishment 
of a great principle, the right and capacity in a people to 
exercise self-government. This principle was not then 
first advanced. Philosophy had again and again inscribed 
it upon her page ; but then was it taken from the page, 
where it had remained a beautiful abstraction, and ushered 
into life. It is indeed a great principle; one of those prin- 
ciples which contain in themselves the seeds of revolutions. 
It is a principle which has given us a great and happy 
country. 

Welcome then to the day which this sublime principle 
consecrates ! and, as it returns from year to year, may it 
be met by the glad anthems of praise. All honor to the 
men who made it glorious ! May we esteem it a pleasure 
and a solemn duty, from time to time, to revisit their 
graves, as Old Mortality visited the graves of the Covenant- 
ers, and deepen the lines which the finger of gratitude 
has inscribed upon their tombstones. Cold and unthankful 
should we be, not to acknowledge the debt due to them. 

It is a lovely and interesting office of affection, to hang 
evergreen wreaths around the monuments of the patriot 
sires of the Republic ; but is this all that we can do? Is it 
the highest tribute which we can pay their memory] Do 
we most truly honor them, merely by singing praises to 
them? If this were all, methinks it were poor honor ; like 
A* 



the honor paid to Liberty by the degenerate men of the 
Roman Empire, who composed orations in her praise, and 
at the same time bent suppliant knees to the despot who 
trampled liberty under foot. Our fathers not only felt for 
their country and spoke in its behalf, but acted. Deeds, 
deeds of heroism, of sacrifice and patriotism, formed their 
language, a language of burning eloquence, whose meaning 
was never misunderstood, whose force was never lost. 
The^ not only resolved, in legislative assembly, to have a 
country, but they went to work to obtain a country. They 
not only desired a country, but they desired a true, a hap- 
py country. For this end they lived, they toiled, and many 
of them died. If then we would honor our ancestors, let 
us not merely build splendid sepulchres to their memory, 
but let us do, in our day, the work which they did in theirs. 
Let us labor to make our country a true, a great, and a 
happy country. Let us be patriots. 

Patriotism ! What a thrilling interest hangs around that 
word. It is a magic word — an open sesame, at the utter- 
ance of which, the door of every heart is thrown open, and 
all noble and generous feelings start from their sleep, and 
spring into life. Now, what is patriotism, and who is tb.e 
true patriot? Patriotism is, towards a country, that deep, 
reverential sentiment, which glows in a child's heart 
towards a parent; and the true patriot is he, who desires and 
who labors to secure his country's welfare. And in what 
consists the welfare of a country? What makes a true 
country? Not wealth ; for, as in Mexico, a nation's wealth 
may be its curse. Not forms of government ; for a nation 
may be ground to dust in the name of liberty. It is the 
character of its citizens. It is the men who make the 
country ; not the country which makes the men. It was 
the great and good men of the Revolutionary era, who 
made our country great ; who enabled her at once, as soon 
as born, to rank among the great nations of the world. As 
it was then, so is it now. In our citizens, lies the character 



of our country. The noblest institutions, the best govern- 
ments, to us are nothing, without intelligent aud virtuous 
men. In all countries intelligence and virtue are essentia', 
but in ours vitally essential. They are not merely the 
beautiful ornaments, with which the Corinthian columns of 
our temple are adorned; they are the foundations on 
which those columns rest, the imperishable stone of which, 
they are formed. With them, our country may exist for 
ages upon ages, to bless the world, a temple towards which 
the. lovers of liberty from every clime, may reverently 
turn to worship ; without them, it must crumble, like the 
republics of the old world, and leave merely ruins for des- 
pots to rejoice and patriots to weep over. He then is the 
true patriot, who seeks to promote intelligence and virtue ; 
the peculiar, the solemn, the everlasting office of patriot- 
ism, is the creation of high-minded, intelligent, virtuous 
men. 

We believe, therefore, that we are acting in accordance 
with the spirit of this our great national birth-day, in 
assembling as friends of Temperance ; for, to our minds it 
is evident, that the success of the cause of Temperance is 
identified with the prosperity of our land. The country 
can truly prosper only when virtue and intelligence pre- 
vail, and they can prevail only where Temperance reigns. 

It is the fashion of many to affect to look down upon the 
Temperance movement, and to speak of it with contempt. 
If they choose so to speak, let them speak ; this is a free 
country, and a man has a perfect right to speak as he may ; 
with the wisdom of a Solomon, if he can, or as a fool, if he 
will. But the fact of one's thus speaking about Temper- 
ance, does not necessarily prove him to be a Solomon, nor 
does it necessarily detract from the greatness of the cause. 
That cause may still be the cause of the country. Let us 
see. Certainly no one who has mind enough to compre- 
hend, or heart enough to desire his country's welfare, can 
need many words to convince him that that welfare and the 



8 

4 

cause of Temperance are intimately blended. For in 
what consists the welfare of a country? As every one 
sees, in its virtue, its intelligence, and its happiness. These 
are the three elements that constitute true national great- 
ness. Without them, a country could not exist, or if it 
could exist, it would not be worth having. Now which of 
these elements can live under the blighting influence of 
intemperance? Can virtue flourish where intemperance 
prevails? Look at the records of crime in our land, and 
answer the question. Go to your prisons, living tombs; 
call forth their miserable inmates, and place them face to 
face with the fiend intemperance. Visit your cemeteries, 
where lie, in dishonored graves, the victims of vice and 
crime. Call the pale tenants forth, and let them also con- 
front the fiend. What a fearful meeting. The imagina- 
tion almost recoils from the sight. It is like the meeting, 
described by Milton, of Satan, Sin and Death, at the gates 
of Hell. Listen to the language addressed by the misera- 
ble offspring to their miserable sire : " It was thou," says 
the haggard murderer, " that didst inflame my brain, and 
nerve my arm to strike the deadly blow." " It was thou," 
says the adulterer, " who didst excite my passions, till in 
wild riot they were ready to trample on laws human and 
divine." "It was thou," says the robber, "who didst 
impel me to burst open the door of innocence, and cast the 
brand into the home of helplessness." And thus arise in 
fearful array crimes and vices of every name, to claim and 
curse intemperance as their Creator and Father. Of every 
yice is he the friend — the foe of every virtue. 

Is intemperance the friend of intelligence ? Can a drun- 
ken community be an intelligent community? To ask such 
a question is almost to insult a man of sense. For what is 
intelligence? It is the result of the exercise of the intel- 
lect, the mind; and can there be any such result of the 
exercise of the mind, when the mind itself is debased and 
rendered incapable of exercise? 



Oh, intemperance ! terrible are the sacrifices made upon 
thine altar ! We are horror-struck at the thought of the 
wretched victims, crushed under the wheels of the car of 
Hindostan's bloody God ; but what are these sacrifices 
compared with thine, insatiable Fiend! Thou canst not be 
content with the offering of bodies, but must feed thine 
inexorable fires with immortal minds ! And what minds ! 
Alas ! not satisfied with dull and earthly creatures, whose 
highest ambition is to grovel, worm-like, in the dust, thou 
dost* demand the sacrifice of minds of etherial nature and 
glowing with Heaven's purest flame. The mind of the 
physician, whose exalted office it is to become a co-worker 
with nature in her beneficent agencies ; the mind of the 
mechanician, capable of penetrating nature's secret cham- 
bers, to learn there mysterious processes to be reproduced 
in inventions of wisdom and skill ; the mind of the astrono- 
mer, at whose inquiries worlds would advance from the 
depths of infinity, and stand ready to repeat the story of 
their birth and unfold the laws of their being ; the mind of 
the divine, to whose investigations the Scriptures would re- 
veal unimagined stores of intellectual and spiritual wealth ; 
the mind of the jurist, able to bring from the chancery of 
heaven, laws of equity to rule the affairs of earth ; the mind 
of the poet, before whose rapt vision scenes of celestial 
loveliness would pass, from whose lips the magical words of 
creative genius might fall ; — these, heaven's noblest, fairest 
gifts are thine, costly offerings on thy terrible altar. Let 
intemperance accomplish his work, let him triumph, and 
the cause of education must be forever lost — the human 
intellect will sink in sad, disastrous night. 

Does intemperance promote the happiness of a nation] 
Go, read the tales of woe, inscribed in tears and blood, 
upon the tablet of many a heart. Ask that young man 
whose head is bowed in shame at witnessing a father's 
degradation, if he is happy. Ask that wife, 'who, sits trem- 
bling and pale, through the long, drear night, till the very 



10 

stars, which had seemed to look with pitying eye upon her 
loneliness, disappear ; ask her, as she sits, desiring yet 
fearing the return of him, who once in his manliness vowed 
to he her protector and friend, if she is happy. Ask the 
patriot, when he sees the soldier, who claims to be the 
guardian of his country's honor, reeling in loathsomeness 
or raging in delirium, if he is happy. Ask the wretched 
victim of this vice, when in his returning consciousness he 
fancies every eye turned away in scorn, and when in his 
degradation he scorns himself, if he is a happy man. 

Intemperance produce happiness ! Yes, when the Upas 
tree shall bear healthy fruit, and Vesuvius' lava-streams 
shall fertilize Italy's mourning soil. 

Such is a faint picture of the influence of intemperance 
on the virtue, the intelligence, and the happiness of society. 
Before its hot breath they wither, as withers the green 
herb before the scorching blast from Africa's deserts ; and 
when they are gone, what is left to a country? Nothing ; 
nothing. There may yet be the form of a country, but it 
is like the bodies of which we read, that haVe been pre- 
served for hundreds of years by some mysterious process, 
and apparently are as sound and fair as ever, but on being 
touched, crumble to ashes. Such is the community on 
which intemperance has done its work, a heartless, mind- 
less, soulless, form. 

Say not that the cause which would avert these evils, 
which would meet and destroy this terrible foe, is an insig- 
nificant one, or one to be regarded with contempt. Would 
you have fit representatives of temperance and intemper- 
ance, these two antagonists who have made our country 
the scene of their fiercest conflicts? You have them in 
two men who acted conspicuous parts in the Revolution- 
ary war. In Benedict Arnold, the traitor, whose name 
is ever sinking into lower and lower depths of a fathomless 
infamy, you have a perfect representative of intemperance. 
Perfect representative ! No, not so ; for the injury which 



11 

his treachery designed to inflict upon his country, is as 
nothing to the calamities which intemperance can bring, 
and means to bring upon our beloved land. Arnold would 
have given up one strong-hold, which might perhaps have 
been recovered ; intemperance would betray every strong- 
hold, dismantle every fortress, and leave the land a prey 
to every foe. 

And in whom shall we find a just representative of the 
temperance cause? In him, whose name is written in 
characters of light among the stars of heaven ; whose 
memory is enshrined in every sanctuary of liberty, whose 
image is stamped on the great heart of mankind, and at 
whose tomb — 

" Honor comes, a pilgrim grey, 
To bless the turf that wraps his clay, 
And Freedom doth awhile repair, 
To dwell a weeping hermit there." 

Yes, in Washington, the great, the good, we find a glorious 
representative of this sacred cause. In his devotion to his 
country's welfare, in his anxious endeavors to give her a 
commanding position among the nations of the world, are 
symbolized the spirit and purpose of the cause, which aims 
to save our country from every foe, and exalt her to thr 
height of true greatness. 

It was under the influence of motives, kindred to those 
which inspired Washington and the other patriots of the 
Revolution, that, about forty years since, some of the 
wisest and best citizens of the union were induced to make 
associated effort against intemperance. Proud were they 
of their government, the noblest ever framed by man, and 
grateful for their country, as lovely a country as the sun 
in his wide course shines upon, but they saw that a vice 
was spreading through the land, which would make the 
purest government a mockery, and dispel the visions, which 
had gladdened the heart of the patriot and philanthropist. 



«J- 



12 

That was a dark day for feeling hearts and thinking minds. 
For a time despair almost prostrated the friends of the 
country, and they felt as, on a single occasion, Washing- 
ton is reported to have felt, when, disheartened at the ob- 
stacles around, and the almost impenetrable gloom, which 
had settled over the nation's prospects, he was ready to 
rush recklessly into the thickest of the battle, and sacrifice 
a life, which could do no more for its native land. But as 
Washington threw off the momentary despair, and made 
new and more heroic efforts to save his country, so they 
roused themselves to new exertions, and planted themselves 
firmly against their country's foe. 

It was from no narrow or mean feelings, that the first ef- 
forts against intemperance w T ere made. Noble, expanded pa- 
triotism, genuine, disinterested love for country and hu- 
manity ; these were the high motives which animated the 
first movers in the Temperance cause, and led them to rise 
against the deadly enemy. To many their efforts seemed 
useless, so widely extended and firmly based w T as his tyran- 
ny. But their exertions were not useless. No sincere 
and good action is ever lost. The mind of the community 
was aroused. The attention of the old and young, men 
and women, was arrested. Tens and hundreds and thou- 
sands united themselves to this new and truly American 
army. The cause steadily progressed. At times apparent- 
ly it advanced rapidly, and at times apparently receded, 
but its course was ever onward. New and more com- 
manding positions were occupied. The banners floated 
over many a hard fought field, and waved from the battle- 
ments of many an impregnable fortress. 

Steadily, and with gratifying but not startling success, the 
cause advanced until in 1840, the community was surprised 
by one of the most wonderful movements of the age. — 
Then by an impulse, as viewless and apparently as resist- 
less as the wind, thousands of persons, who had been re- 
garded by others, who had regarded themselves, as in hope- 






13 

less bondage, arose in their might ; no, not their might, M 
in the might of God, burst and cast aside the fetters which 
had bound them, and stood forth redeemed and free men. 
Oh, then, how many a heart, which had almost ceased to 
beat under its pressure of hopeless anxiety, throbbed 
again with the buoyancy of new life ; how many a glad 
anthem burst from lips, which for years had given utter- 
ance to no emotion of joy; and in how many an eye, which 
had long known only the scalding tear of agony, glistened 
the pearl of gratitude. 

This happy movement gave birth to another. In 1842, 
some of the men, who had been deeply interested in the 
previous efforts, became desirous of forming an organiza- 
tion, which would give permanence to the results already 
obtained. They wished, moreover, to bring the great and 
social principle of benevolence, into immediate and constant 
connexion with the temperance cause. Hence resulted 
the society, whose badge we wear, the Order of the Sons of 
Temperance ; a society, which, though established less than 
four years ago, Sept. 29, 1842, already numbers 14 State 
Divisions, 650 subordinate Divisions, and more than 40,000 
members. This astonishing success indicates how strong 
a hold the Order has already obtained in the affections of 
the community. Yet this success, though almost startlingly 
great, ought not to surprise us, for rarely, if ever, has a 
society been formed, possessed of so many attractive, so 
few repulsive features. In fact, I know of but one feature 
that can be seriously objectionable to any mind, its secrecy; 
and to most minds this feature ceases to be objectionable, 
when the design of the secrecy is understood, which is, 
simply, to guard against imposition ; while, on the other 
hand, it has many features singularly attractive. Its ser- 
vices, while simple and unostentatious, arc at once interest- 
ing and impressive. It is a powerful and efficient agent in 
counteracting and preventing the terrible influences of in- 
temperance ; for not only does it propose to remove the 

B 



14 

evil, already inflicted, but also to prevent the infliction of 
new evil, by cutting off its source. Its pledge is thorough 
and comprehensive. Its members bind themselves " neither 
to make, buy, sell, nor use as a bsverage, spiritous or malt 
liquors, wine, or cider." It brings out into bold relief the 
grand principle of benevolence, in the provision, which, 
with wise forethought and truly Christian tenderness, it 
makes for the suffering and afflicted, the widow and orphan. 
Thus it recognises the solemn fact of human brotherhood, 
and is helping to solve the great problem, the most interest- 
ing of all the problems presented for solution in this age, 
the peaceful, yet thorough, re-organization of society, and 
its establishment on the basis of love, instead of selfishness. 
Finally, the society is attractive, because it harmonizes 
with the generous spirit of our country. Here we meet on 
a common platform, irrespective of political and religious 
differences, and, breathing together the atmosphere of be- 
nevolence and charity, we forget, for a time at least, the 
alienations which embitter life and take away the charm 
of existence. These and other kindred features endear 
the society to its members, and cause us to regard with 
peculiar interest the neat and simple badge, in which are 
symbolized the three great principles of love, purity, and 
fidelity, which, we hope, may ever characterize the Order. 
I have given this brief abstract of the history of the tem- 
perance cause, to show that it had no mean origin, and has 
no insignificant design. It had its birth in as high and no- 
ble motives as ever actuated human beings, and its end is 
no less than the welfare of a nation, of mankind. Tell me 
not that it is a tame and uninteresting cause; that, if 
successful, it will destroy the fascinations of social life, 
rob genius of excitement, and patriotism of enthusiasm. 
I know that under the exhilaration of the wine-cup, 
the social circle has often sparkled with wit and merri- 
ment; but I know, too, that that exhilaration has often 
been followed by the languor of exhaustion, and the 



15 

lethargy of mental and moral death. I know that genius 
has often sung under the inspiration of the sparkling glass ; 
but I know, too, that that same genius, after flashing meteor- 
like, for a while, over the heavens, has sunk in endless 
night. Byron's genius burned and dazzled and bewildered 
for a time, but how soon have its beams grown pale. The 
genius of Milton, drank at the healthful spring, whence 
welled forth the crystal water, and Paradise Lost lives, and 
ever will live, to testify to the purity and power of his in- 
spiration. I know that daring deeds have been performed 
under the excitement of strong drink ; but I know, too, that 
no braver deeds were ever performed than by .the chival- 
rous Marion, the partizan hero of the Revolution. It was 
from generous nature's cool fountain that he drank, and I 
have yet to learn, that his heart ever failed, or his arm 
was ever palsied in presence of his foes, though those foes 
came on in the confidence and inspiration of rum. 

Tell me not that genius and patriotism need the aid of 
the wine-cup ; their fires are of heavenly nature, kindled 
at heaven's altars, and shine by their own bright light. 
Tell me not that life requires the excitement of intemper- 
ance to become interesting. Has it not sources of undying 
interest in its holy affections, which throw a charm over 
home, and beauty over society ; which array existence irt 
glory ? And never is its interest so intense, as when in the 
clear healthful air of temperance^ these affections exhale a 
daily fragrance, and these powers expand in ever-fresh 
luxuriance. 

Hail then to the sacred cause, the cause of virtue, intel- 
ligence and happiness! Could the venerable fathers of our 
land speak to us from the spirit world, they would pro- 
nounce heaven's blessings upon it, as the cause of our 
country, of mankind. While living on earth, their coun- 
try was ever present to their minds, an angel-form, vener- 
able in dignity, lovely in beauty, and with a countenance 
radiant with heavenly purity. Such she floated before 



16 

them, to gladden in the hour of triumph, to cheer in the 
moment of gloom; such she revealed herself in the season 
of solitude, when the rapt mind sought to penetrate the 
future, and such she appeared, when the eye turned its 
last fond glance on earthly things. 

Heroically they lived ; happily they died ; for the vision 
of a virtuous, an enlightened, and a happy country was 
ever before them. 

Let the generation, now living, be faithful to its duty, 
and, by the blessing of God, their hopes shall be fulfilled, 
their visions realized. Our country shall run a career of 
true glory. Its course shall be, not the meteor's, which 
burns to destroy, but the course of the beneficent sun, 
whose beams warm and enlighten a world. 






i